Tuesday 15 March 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visit with Julie Bishop

Dear Julie Bishop,

As the President of Sydney Atheists, I would like to bring your attention to the millions, yes millions of Atheists in Iran.

In Iran it is against the religious laws to become an atheist. Such behaviour is considered as apostasy and blasphemous, and any such declaration by a former Muslim risks at the least lost work opportunities, isolation, imprisonment and potentially death. As such, Atheists have to hide their beliefs

I understand that you either have or will raise the issue of Baha'is in Iran. That is to be commended. Please be aware, however, that the number of Atheists in Iran is far greater than the number of Baha'is and their suffering is at least as bad. Indeed, the Iranian theocracy looks more kindly on any godly belief than on the denial of gods.

We have a very significant number of Persian (Iranian) Atheists in our community. They fear for those of their family and friends still in Iran. They also fear for their safety should they exercise and express their freedom of belief or non-belief in Shia Islam and wish to visit their families and friends in that country.

I plead with you on behalf of Atheist Persians in Iran, Australia and around the world to encourage the Iranian Government to allow freedom of belief, conscience and tolerance in Iran.

Thank you,

Steve Marton
President Sydney Atheists

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